I think Lori Yang literally loves the world. Every bit of it, large and small. You can certainly see how much she cares for her daughter Harper, so beautifully captured in the archive pic shown here. I will confirm that Lori brought this same enthusiasm to her work as a Smooch! Project Hero when she helped manage a recent busy Smooch! shoot. (You’ll find her Heroic profile here). It’s this open-hearted generosity of spirit that led Lori to bring The Smooch! Project to serve on behalf of another cause she finds compelling and thereby save lives throughout the world.
Lori is an organizer for Be the Match, a worldwide bone marrow registry that serves people suffering a variety of blood diseases. She’s organized a community-based donor drive and helped find a sponsor to bring The Smooch! Project there. Lori doesn’t even know anyone who is in need of a donor. This is quite a rarity in the registry world, as most drives are created by people seeking a match for someone they know and love. Like I said, Lori loves the entire world. “I believe with all my heart that the 10,000 people in need of marrow donors can find their matches,” she said, “Just as surely as I believe our effort to photograph 10,000 Smooches will succeed.”
We’ll be there, collecting smooches and doing our best to attract as many people as possible to sign up as potential donors. Registering is (almost) as simple as a kiss: You simply fill out a short health form and swab your cheek with a kit provided at the event. Representatives from Be The Match will be there to send it on for processing. Then you get to feel wonderful that you might some day save the life of a complete stranger on the other side of the world! Frankly, I can’t think of a better match for The Smooch! Project (no pun intended). Here’s the details:
(On Grimes between Morningside & Branson Streets)
(In Edina Morningside Community Church basement)
(Map available at the block party)
Live music, munchies & more! Bouncy house, kids activities, dancing, gift basket raffle, and opportunities to be a hero and save lives by joining the bone marrow registry. Hope to see you there!
Tomorrow (May 7) is a big day for a little girl named Gracie and her family. Her parents and the community who loves and supports them are coming together to help her win the fight of her life. Amazing Gracie was born last November with Down Syndrome and an unbalanced heart. She’s already undergone two corrective surgeries. Later this month, Gracie and her family will be facing her third.
I met Amazing Gracie a few weeks ago at a privately-sponsored Smooch! shoot. Her parents made special arrangements to bring her to be photographed, as 4-month old little Grace must be protected from infectious germs in anticipation of her upcoming surgery. At the shoot, a family member gave me a flyer about the upcoming benefit and asked me to consider bringing The Smooch! Project to the event. While I did so, my smoochy calendar cleared for the weekend. The stars aligned and the way was cleared. Hooray! We scheduled the shoot just a few days ago. Here’s a photo of the star of the event:
Because of the need to protect her from germs, Amazing Gracie cannot be present at her own benefit. But this photo will be there! We’ve made it into a life-sized cutout and will be offering it to all well-wishers to smooch in front of our camera at this benefit shoot. All donations for the privilege to do so will go to Gracie and her family. The Smooch! Project is happy to contribute this shoot as part of the benefit to support this child. Won’t you do so too?
This family-friendly benefit starts at 3pm and will run until the place closes. There will be kid’s activities, a silent auction (3-11pm), all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner (6-8pm), beer bust (8:30-11pm), and raffle prizes. The Smooch! shoot runs from 3-9pm. Here’s a link to an info flyer to distribute to your own network. Here is a link to Gracie’s Caring Bridge site. If you have questions, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s the location info:
Benefit for Gracie Delaney
Saturday, May 7, 2011
8525 Cottonwood St.
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
If you would like to make a donation or cannot attend the benefit and would like to contribute, stop by any Wells Fargo or Wachovia location nationwide and ask to contribute to the “Grace Delaney Trust.” Or mail a check (payable to Grace Delaney Trust) to : Wells Fargo Riverdale, c/o Grace Delaney Trust, 3200 Main Street NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448. Please note: Donations are not tax-deductible.
Hope to see you there!
I can’t go a day without thinking about the joy this project has brought into my life. For that, I am grateful.